City of Cape Town may suspend senior official charged with raping teen
Cape Town - The City of Cape Town says it is considering suspending a senior official who has been charged with raping a teenager whose family regarded him as a friend.
Sub-council 23 manager Raphael Martin made a brief appearance in the Mitchells Plain Magistrate's Court on Monday, where he was formally charged with the rape of a 13-year-old girl from Strandfontein. He is set to apply for a formal bail application next week.
"The City is considering immediate suspension subject to the bail application. Should the bail application be granted then the City will serve the employee with immediate suspension proceedings," said City spokesperson Priya Reddy.
"While the suspect is in police custody the City does not have to suspend the employee as such imprisonment is automatically without pay or benefits," Reddy said.
On Tuesday, a number of local politicians spoke out about the charges against Martin.
"It is with great disappointment and disgust that I Iearned that the sub-council manager for sub-council 23, Raphael Martin, was arrested for the rape of a minor. I wish to condemn this action with the contempt it deserves," ward councillor Elton-Enrique Jansen said.
"The saying goes one is 'innocent until proven guilty', however, in light of the reports I am giving my support to the victim and her family unconditionally."
"I was in total conflict with myself since I heard the news because I worked very closely with the accused. I never expected this action from someone who holds a senior position within the City of Cape Town and Sub-Council 23 ... If I have take sides it will have to be with the victim... He cannot be granted bail and justice for this girl must prevail," he said.
ANC Western Cape coordinator Ronalda Nalumango said: "The ANC has learned with shock that a suspect who is allegedly a former combatant has been arrested and also appeared in court in connection with horrific allegations of raping a 13-year-old Mitchells Plain girl.
She pointed out that Martin had not been an active member of the ANC in Mitchells Plain for a number of years but was firm in the party's condemnation of the crime he is accused of committing and their support for the young victim.
"We are shocked and outraged. This alleged crime is a betrayal of the ethos, values and principles of the ANC.”
Martin was arrested on Friday after the young girl spoke out.
African News Agency and IOL